IMC-2018 Learning Zone 41:28

by Randy Yount, Noble Reliability and Craig Churchman, Capstone Pinto Valley Mine

Hiring a reliability consultant to help make improvements seems simple. An extra set of eyes, an outside viewpoint and some good recommendations should get it done, right? Wrong! To be truly effective, the relationship should be more like two dance partners that must understand the steps and execute them together. We will look at how it was done in mining and the resulting increased profitability of one organization. Pinto Valley Mine in Arizona is a mid-size open pit copper, molybdenum, and gold mine. Blasting, hauling, and ore processing are the primary functions in this type of mine. Ore processing was chosen as a starting point to improve operational profitability, when a new Supervisor was hired. Contracting with an SMRP certified professional was the first step for Craig Churchman MSc, PE, Pinto Valley Mine Engineering Superintendent. Ore processing, from the point of haul truck dumping, all the way through to the tailings would be surveyed. While most equipment, people and processes were in good shape, this is also where the greatest gains could be realized. The technical aspects of the survey were accomplished without any significant issues. Many of the areas that could be improved involved lubrication. With multiple unions, as well as independent employees working side by side, making sustainable changes would involve many parties. Building trust and developing champions at all levels in the company would be needed. Some of these relationships could not be easily built from a senior management position. A good consultant will work hand in hand with senior management to execute planned changes but will also enlist the support of rank and file leaders to implement changes. The consultant and senior manager must be in perfect step to avoid a trip up and fall. They must be dancing to the same music. We will give real world examples of successes and failures from this program. Most are success stories, but all are real learning lessons. People, processes, programs, and dancing. That's all it takes.

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